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This article discusses part 4 of our 5-part series on key information regarding Informal Estate Administration in Wisconsin.

This article discusses part 4 of our 5-part series on key information regarding Informal Estate Administration in Wisconsin.

What Do I Need To Know About Personal Representative Work In Wisconsin? 

To begin with, a statement in a Will designating who should serve as personal representative does not automatically entitle you to begin executing personal representative duties; the statement in the Will is simply a nomination by the decedent. Before you can take on the role of personal representative, the Probate Registrar must appoint you. “Domiciliary Letters” is the paperwork that shows people that you have been appointed as Personal Representative. The Probate Registrar will provide you with as many certified copies of this document as you require for a modest statutory fee at any point during the estate administration process. 

It is an incredibly important job to serve as a personal representative. To protect the estate's assets, you may be required to post a bond. You must keep all interested parties up to date on the estate proceedings and conclude the estate as soon as possible. The Probate Registrar will issue you a Notice of Estate Administration Deadlines, which will include the Inventory due date as well as the deadline for closing the estate. 

Represent the Decedent's Best Interests

A personal representative, for all intents and purposes, acts in the decedent's place. You are required to manage the decedent's assets in the same way that any wise individual would manage his or her own. 

Taking possession of all the decedent's assets and submitting an Inventory with the date of death values of all assets under your control will be among your responsibilities. It's possible that you'll need to open a bank account. We can't make you open a checking account, and it's not usually necessary. A checking account, on the other hand, allows you to keep accurate records of your income and expenditure. 

Handling Creditors and Assets in Estate Administration in Wisconsin

You will give creditors notice, and you may also give notice to interested parties by publishing a notice in the newspaper. If Waiver and Consent forms cannot be obtained, notice must be sent to interested parties by mail or personal service. 

You could be converting assets to cash, selling real estate, running a business, insuring, or maintaining property. 

Any revenue owing to the decedent, such as interest, dividends, rent, and so on, will be collected by you. You'll pay bills, settle legitimate claims, and oppose to those that aren't. 

Generating the Fiduciary Closing Certificate

It's possible that you'll have to file final and fiduciary tax returns. You must file a Fiduciaries Closing Certificate acquired from the Department of Revenue. You can ask the court to waive this requirement. Consult your local Registrar for more information on this requirement. To assist you with this element of the estate, you should seek the advice of a qualified tax preparer or an attorney. 

Keeping Proper Records as a Personal Representative in Wisconsin

You must prepare a final Estate Account, detailing all funds and assets received by the estate between the date of death and distribution, as well as all funds and assets paid out of the estate. The Estate Account may be required to be filed with the Probate Registrar. You must keep correct records in order to prepare an Estate Account. Keeping records can be done in a variety of ways. If you keep correct records, it will also be easy for someone to assist you with your accounting. 

You'll distribute assets in accordance with the Will and/or statutes, and you'll obtain receipts from those who receive them. 

Finally, a Statement of Personal Representative to Close Estate will be filed. Your appointment as personal representative ends six months after your Statement is filed if no judicial actions opposing your Statement or otherwise involving you as personal representative are pending. 

Paying Taxes as a Personal Representative in Wisconsin Estate Administration

You are responsible for paying any taxes payable by the estate or the decedent from the estate assets as personal representative. These taxes include the decedent's gift and income taxes, as well as the estate's income and estate taxes. If these taxes are owed and not paid from available estate assets, you may be personally liable. If you have questions concerning the decedent's or estate's prospective tax responsibilities, you should speak with an attorney or a tax counselor. You should look into whether the decedent's prospective taxes were paid. Reviewing the decedent's earlier tax returns, as well as any acts taken by the decedent that potentially result in income or gift tax obligation, would be a good place to start. 

By completing and filing Form 5495 with the Internal Revenue Service as personal representative, you can receive a discharge from personal liability for federal tax shortfalls. Please keep in mind that the personal liability discharge only applies to tax returns that have been filed and are listed in or submitted with your Form 5495. 

Prepare and file a Schedule CC – Request for a Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries with the Wisconsin Department of Revenue to acquire a Closing Certificate for Fiduciaries.

Click here to continue on to part 5 of our 5-part series.  

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